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Active shooter drills suffice, for now

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Active shooter drills suffice, for now

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Shevani Tewari, Opinions Editor

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On December 18, 2018, the Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), in conjunction with the RM administration, held a Lockdown with Option Drill, otherwise known as an Active Assailant drill. During the drill, different school shooting situations were brought up, and students discussed what they would do in each scenario, such as shoving a Chromebook cart in front of the door to block a potential shooter.

First, we must applaud RM for handling this discussion in a serious but appropriate manner, and recognize that while they may be terrifying, the reality is that we must hold discussions like these at our schools. Gun violence continues to be a rampant issue, as according to the Washington Post, there have been 188 school shootings in the past eighteen years. While the chances of being a victim of school-related gun violence are relatively low, the “it would never happen to me” sentiment is what has caused high schools around the country to be caught off guard. Students today cannot avoid the possibility of gun violence. However, students should not be required to face this reality. Higher action must be taken in order to improve safety in schools.

Despite what opponents might say, the issue of an epidemic of gun violence in developed countries is exclusive to the United States. According to CNN, the US has had 57 times as many school shootings as all other industrial nations combined. With a difference so stark, it is evident that action by our politicians, as well as a widespread change in gun control, is absolutely necessary in order to achieve our goal to ultimately make schools and students safer.

While many recognize the need for gun reform, most are either unwilling or unsure as to how to approach it. Nevertheless, this should not result in acceptance of inaction. Policies in Maryland have been proven to be effective and should be implemented on a greater scale.

One example is Maryland’s ban on bump stocks and assault rifles, both of which are commonly used in mass shootings, and can easily cause the most damage. Following the tragedy at Great Mills High School, where a student walked into the school and shot multiple students and a school resource officer, Maryland also implemented a “red flag law” which permits family members and the police to petition the court to order the removal of firearms to someone deemed dangerous.

While these are incredibly important steps to protect students, existing at the state level, they are simply not enough. All of these should be nationwide initiatives. Gun control is significantly less effective when guns remain accessible in neighboring states, and the illegal gun trade flourishes by the ease of legally buying a gun and selling it into the black market. If politicians truly want to reduce the chances of someone walking into school with a loaded assault rifle and opening fire, they must take action on the national level.

With the next Congress session beginning shortly, it is the moral obligation of our politicians to implement policies that will protect American children more effectively than a Chromebook cart.

The ban on bump stocks recently implemented by the Trump administration should be written in legislative policy in order to guarantee a sense of permanence, assault rifles must be banned, and those who are seen to be a danger to themselves or others should not be allowed access to a gun. If politicians are unwilling to make these changes, it is our job as students to contact our politicians, lobby for common sense gun control, and hold officials accountable when we can vote.

For now, active assailant safety drills are an absolute must. We cannot deny the fact that we can be the next victims of a school shooting, and must be equipped to deal with it to prevent death and injury. Advocate for safer gun policies, and let us be the last generation that suffers from this fear.

Interested in responding? Submit your letters using this google form! If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] or reach out to Rebecca Huang, Shevani Tewari, or Ashley Ye directly!

About the Writer
Shevani Tewari, Opinions Editor

As a girl with a lot of feelings, Shevani is excited to be a co-editor for what is clearly the best section: Opinions. She has written for this incredible...

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Active shooter drills suffice, for now